Engineering students from Sheffield College accelerated their learning on Thursday (21 April) when they were given first-hand insight into what it takes to build a 230mph Formula 1 car.

Employment specialists Randstad Student Support invited 15 budding engineers to the F1 team’s state-of-the-art factory in Grove, Oxford, where they were steered round the engineering hub and factory to experience the buzz of constructing one of the fastest cars on the planet.

Williams engineers guided the group around their HQ showing them everything from the history of the team to testing their knowledge of modern parts and their function.
Oliver Webb, stress engineer at Williams, gave the students an insight into the day-to-life life of an F1 engineer and useful tips on career progression. He also explained how parts are tested and the importance of stress analysis.

Petrol heads in the group learned about the changes that came into force for this F1 season and how that affects an engineer’s way of thinking, all while Felipe Massa's car sat in the background.

Travelling at more than 200mph means drivers must have lightning fast reactions and students had theirs tested on a BATAK reaction machine, which highlighted how important reaction speed is.  

Finally, a lap of the Williams museum gave the students a chance to see previous championship winning cars up close, get their hands on the beautiful trophy collection and see F1 mementos up close.

Paul Bate, Senior Lecturer and Curriculum Leader at Sheffield College
“What we have seen so far at the factory with the manufacturing processes, the jobs
available, students will hopefully now look round for jobs they could see themselves heading for. They will see a goal, not only any engineering goal but advanced engineering like we have seen taking here today. With all the advanced equipment in use at the Williams factory, our students have been able to see what potentially their career path could involve when working for a company like Williams Martini Racing - it has given them something to aspire towards.

“There is a national shortage of good engineers and we see our college as a good
innovator to get students in and promote engineering especially in our area where there is an increasing demand for advanced engineering. It has been really valuable for our students to see everything we teach, actually taking place for real here today and see the purpose of it even more. It’s really nice to see the practical side of what we have been teaching up close here today.

“We have students here with us today from the electrical department, manufacturing department and motor vehicle department - every student has seen and most probably focused on the areas where they are looking to specialise and will have realised how important their roles will be for the future. Having had the opportunity to visit the Williams centre and factory, which is the pinnacle of engineering for me, I hope they can realise how important what they have seen today is and really take away a lot from this experience. A lot of these students may never get the chance to see advance engineering within this setting again in their lifetime so hopefully they realise how important this experience is and take it away with them.”

Abu Bakar Abu Bakar, a student at Sheffield College whose dream job is to work at SpaceX, said: “Engineering is the future for everyone, with engineering comes new innovation, new thinking and creativity. Being here today has really inspired me to continue working hard to get into a career within engineering. Most of the machines I have seen here today I have studied and learnt about during my Level 3 course at the college. For example, seeing the CNC machine here today was really exciting as I actually know how all the parts are programmed to work within this machine.

“When I finish college, I’m hoping to go to university to study Aerospace Engineering
and in particular Jet Propulsion Engineering. This will hopefully help me to work for a Formula 1 team at some point in the future as this type of engineering centres around building engines.”
Sadie Besley, Operations Director, Randstad Student Support said: “The best way to get ahead and give yourself the best career opportunities in the engineering sector is to get some hands-on experience. It doesn’t have to be paid work; any time that can be spent learning on the job, gaining practical skills and boosting your experience can give you a great advantage as a candidate. It’s hard to find the right person for the right job and experience and enthusiasm are key for outpacing other applicants.” 


About Randstad
The Randstad Group is a global leader in the HR services industry and specialized in solutions in the field of flexible work and human resources services. Our services range from regular temporary staffing and permanent placements to Inhouse Services, Professionals, and HR Solutions (including Recruitment Process Outsourcing, Managed Services Programs, and outplacement). 

At year-end 2016, Randstad had 36,524 corporate employees and 4,752 branches and Inhouse locations in 39 countries around the world. In 2016, Randstad generated revenue of € 20.7 billion. Randstad was founded in 1960 and is headquartered in Diemen, the Netherlands. Randstad Holding nv is listed on the NYSE Euronext Amsterdam, where options for stocks in Randstad are also traded. For more information, see 

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